Blog: 2015 Season

April 5, 2015. Opening day! The team is wearing the OT patch in memory of Oscar Taveras... Marucci is the weapon of choice again this season, apparently. Carpenter, Jay, Molina, Peralta and Wong were all swinging it. Two were using the Nnwyg finish; Peralta's was black, Carpenter's was Gwynn, and Jay's was Reklaw... Wong was using a Matt Adams Marucci model, while Adams swung a Max Bat... Heyward swung a black LS (breaking it on his last AB) while Wainwright used a flame burned LS. Holliday used his grayish Old Hickory. Reynolds also used Old Hickory; his was natural.

April 7, 2015. Rained (or, more accurately, frozen) out today, which raises a question I ask every year -- Why are games scheduled in cold-weather cities in early April? Isn't it possible to schedule the first week's games in warm climates and covered stadiums?... Please give a read to this well-researched piece by designer Todd Radom regarding the debut of the "birds-0n-bat" logo's debut in 1922. My favorite line: "It will be by far the gaudiest bit of baseball heraldry that ever dazzled a fan’s eyes"... I challenge anyone to show me a photo of a Cardinals player in this style of uniform. It's certainly not from 1923-24; aside from those jerseys having uniform numbers, the crest isn't correct and the placket trim shouldn't run below the crest. In fact, you won't see placket trim below the crest until the 1928 World Series, and the jersey at auction doesn't match that, either. And the line about Leacock making the Cardinals' jerseys for only two seasons is pure hogwash. Leacock was a sporting goods store and distributor, not a manufacturer. Here's a tag from a 1928 jersey that shows Leacock's label next to that of Rawlings, the manufacturer. I don't know what this jersey is -- a salesman's sample, a minor league shirt, or something else. But, I do know it's not from 1923-24, nor any other year from that decade.

April 8, 2015. Lynn was swinging Michael Wacha's natural Marucci bat... If you're thinking about bidding on this McGwire bat, don't. It's a replica -- too short, wrong knob, wrong tar, and no visible stamping or writing on the knob. But hey, the signature looks good.

April 10, 2015. Wong has switched to a Walker-finished Chandler bat... Grichuk used a black Max Bat in his 2015 debut and went yard in his first PA... Bourjos swung a black Louisville Slugger... Lackey appeared to be using a Gwynn-finished Marucci... Because they were in Cincinnati, the team broke out their navy caps and helmets for the first time this season.

April 11, 2015. Adams left his Max Bat in the rack and switched to Marucci -- and promptly homered... Wacha was swinging a natural Marucci... Only four games into the season and the closer, Rosenthal, already has an at-bat. He used a Gwynn Marucci... Don't forget to check the bat use chart to keep up with what the Redbirds are swinging this season.

April 12, 2015. Pete Kozma got his first swing of the season today; he used a black Sam Bat... Carlos Martinez appeared to be using a Nnywg-finished Marucci... Let's have a moment of silence for Ed Easley. He was called up Friday to back up Molina with Tony Cruz on paternity leave. Unfortunately, Easley didn't get into a game this weekend, so his #23 will not qualify for the uniform database. Maybe he'll get another opportunity down the road.

April 13, 2015. Happy home opener! Wong was swinging a new Marucci today with the Reklaw finish. It was a signature model, and it appears it could be his mom's name, something he did last season on his Chandler bats... Wainwright's bat had an even deeper flame finish on the barrel today -- so dark, it almost looked like a Walker finish.

April 15, 2015. In honor of Jackie Robinson, as has become custom, everyone wore #42 tonight... Holliday was using a black Sam Bat... Lynn appears to still be swinging Wacha's lumber.

April 16, 2015. Lackey was swinging a Rawlings with a black barrel and cherry handle. The bat tracker doesn't have a column for that finish, so I put it under Gywnn and noted the cherry handle in the notes section.

April 17, 2015. The Cardinals honored Red Schoendienst tonight, marking the 70th anniversary his his MLB debut. The team wore a #2 patch, there was a #2 in the dirt behind second base, the pregame bases had #2 on them, and thre was even a social medial campaign with the hashtag #LoveRed2. Funny thing is, Red wore #6 in his debut and throughout the 1945 season. Minor detail. We all remember the redhead as #2. I've been told the jersey patch was applied with adhesive and removed after the game, so you won't find any gamers with the patch. I've also been told the family received everything used in the game related to Red except for one pregame base, which was given to Cardinals Authentics... Wong switched to a natural Marucci tonight. The grip tape was yellow with a black pattern.

April 18, 2015. Well, that didn't take long. The one Schoendienst base made available to the public is already on eBay.

April 19, 2015. I've received a few emails about the two Mark McGwire jerseys being sold in SCP's upcoming auction. I'm probably the wrong person to ask because I operate under the assumption that all Cardinals Mac jerseys a're probably all fake -- or at least extras purchased by Mac to give to friends. I'm guessing that's the deal with the jersey given to Tony Gwynn. It's generally accepted that Mac's jerseys had straight hems, not tails (except for one-off shirts, like jersey-off-the-back-day shirts). When I see tails, I think "give away." I could be wrong, but that's my assumption. What I know for sure is the numbers on the back of this jersey are way too close together. They should be the thickness of a number apart. Look at photos of Mac in '98 -- it's obvious. This is a common mistake made by forgers -- they use the template employed by the team in later years; but in '98, the numbers were much farther apart.

April 21, 2015. Holliday has switched to using a natural Sam Bat... Lynn is still using Wacha's bat... With Grichuk on the DL and Bourjos on paternity leave, pitcher Mitch Harris (#40) and infielder Dean Anna (#65) are on the bench, hoping to make their Cardinals debuts.

April 22, 2015. Some online popularity contests are more important that others. For instance, this week, fan voting to choose the two newest members of the Cardinals Hall of Fame wrapped up. Next week, we'll know who will get plaques on the wall for eternity. That's meaningful. The "Franchise Four" voting, on the other hand, will be forgotten by next season. And that's just as well, considering the current tally places Lou Brock and Ozzie Smith ahead of Rogers Hornsby and Albert Pujols. Nothing against Lou and Oz -- they're great -- but Hornsby and Pujols are two of the greatest righthanded hitters in baseball history. Leaving them off the Cardinals "Mount Rushmore" would be almost as bad as the fan vote that overlooked Stan Musial for baseball's All-Century Team in 1999. [Climbing down from my soap box now.]

April 23, 2015. There was a Tony Cruz sighting today. Molina finally took a day off, allowing Cruz to see some playing time. He swung a Chandler bat with a black handle and cherry barrel... Dean Anna made his Cardinals debut as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning. He used a black Louisville Slugger... Mark Reynolds appears to have swapped his natural Old Hickory bat for a black one... At least three guys today were using multiple bats. Jay swung both Reklaw and Gwynn Maruccis, Holliday used black and natural Sam Bats, and Peralta swung Nnywg and black Marucci bats.

April 25, 2015. Wainwright was swinging a black B45 bat tonight... Mitch Harris made his MLB debut; he was wearing #40.

April 26, 2015. Cody Stanley made his MLB debut wearing #43. He swung a Louisville Slugger with a black handle and cherry barrel... For the second day in a row, a Cardinals pitcher -- this time Lynn -- was using a B45 bat. Like Waino's black bat last night, Lynn's Gwynn-finished bat doesn't appear to have a player's name on the barrel. Best I can tell, it looks like the barrel simply says "Pro Select Yellow Birch."

April 27, 2015. Wong was swinging a cherry handle/black barrel Marucci bat tonight... The biggest surprise from this weekend's SCP auction has to be this cracked 2012 Molina batting helmet that sold for almost $4K with juice. As the kids say, I'm still SMH (shaking my head) about that one. Glad to see the bogus '98 McGwire jersey couldn't fetch $1,600, but sad that someone threw away that much money for it. Ditto for this odd, supposed 1920s uniform that sold for less than $2,600. And Stan is still the man; his '62 uniform broke the $70K plateau.

April 28, 2015. Adams is on his third bat brand this season (at least from what I can tell). He used a Dinger bat tonight, and it appeared to be a signature model... Noticed Jay used a natural Marucci tonight... Wong's Marucci apparently says, "We Are Mauna Kea" on the barrel. He belongs to a group of native Hawaiians protesting the building of a 30 meter telescope on the dormant volcano, which is considered by many to be sacred ground.

April 30, 2015. Tim Cooney made his MLB debut wearing #66. He swung a Gwynn-finished Chandler bat... Cody Stanley was sent to Memphis to make room for Cooney, but at least one of his bats remained behind. Jay was using Stanley's natural Max Bat... Villanueva got his first plate appearance of 2015. He used a black LS.

May 3, 2015. If you're a fan of interesting names and miss Marc Rzepczynski, the Cardinals have you covered. Today, Sam Tuivailala made his 2015 debut wearing the same #64 he had last year. He was followed to the mound by Miguel Socolovich, making his Cardinals debut wearing #63... Seth Maness made a pinch hit appearance during the extra-innings affair. He swung a natural Marucci.

May 4, 2015. The 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame class was announced today, and if you recall my post from April 30 of last year, you'll know I'm very pleased. Ted Simmons and Bob Forsch won the fan voting. The "veteran's committee," which met earlier this year, selected Curt Flood. And Cardinals ownership chose to honor the ultimate teacher and organizational man, George Kissell. Congrats to the four new HOFers. Next year, I predict ballot newcomer Chris Carpenter will win the fan vote. He could be joined by Edgar Renteria, but don't be surprised if Mark McGwire comes in second. Terry Moore stands a good chance of getting the veteran's vote. And if ownership chooses to add a fourth inductee, Butch Yatkeman would be a good choice. I personally will vote for Carp and Joe Torre.

May 5, 2015. Tyler Lyons is back in the big leagues, wearing #70 for the third year in a row. Isn't it time he graduated to a lower number? He swung a black Louisville Slugger... I haven't noticed many players using bat knob decals this season, but this shot of Matt Adams' decals was posted on Twitter earlier today.

May 7, 2015. Lackey swung a Gwynn Marucci today, while Adams broke out a Nnwyg BWP for one at-bat.

May 9, 2015. Martinez was using a flame-finished Louisville Slugger tonight. It appeared to have a number marked out inside the cupped end. Couldn't see a name on the barrel, but if I had to wager money, I'd guess it was a Wainwright bat.

May 10, 2015. It's Mother's Day, which much explain all the pink -- undershirts, batting gloves, compression sleeves, wristbands, cleats, elbow guards and ankle guards. More players used pink bats this year than in recent years: Bourgos (LS, 4 AB), Wong (Marucci, 4 AB), Adams (Dinger, 2 AB -- it had a black handle), Reynolds (Marucci, 1 AB), Heyward (LS, 4 AB) and Kozma (Sam Bat, 1 AB).

May 15, 2015. Xavier Scruggs made his 2015 debut wearing the same #59 he wore in 2014. He was swinging a Nnywg-finished Old Hickory.

May 19, 2015. Randy Choate batted tonight for the first time since 2004 and for the sixth time in his long career. He used one of Michael Wacha's natural Maurcci bats.

May 21, 2015. Jaime Garcia is back and wearing his #54.

May 25, 2015. It's Memorial Day, which means another round of military pandering uniforms. Ugh.

May 29, 2015. Ed Easley made his MLB debut wearing #23. He swung a Gwynn-finished Marucci bat.

June 14 , 2015. The Cardinals were ready to wear these 1985 throwback uniforms today, but the game was rained out. I assume they'll be saved until the game is made up on July 23.

June 19, 2015. The Cardinals wore 1961 throwbacks during tonight's "1960s Retro Weekend" game at Philadelphia. Oddly, the Phillies wore uniforms from 1969. I thought the Oscar Taveras memorial patch looked odd on a TBTC jersey... Greg Garcia made his 2015 debut wearing #35.

June 21, 2015. The Cardinals wore the same 1961 throwbacks that they wore two days ago. And since it was Father's Day, players had removable blue ribbons on their jerseys.

July 1, 2015. Marcus Hatley made his MLB debut in a game that started on 7/1, but thanks to rain delays, it was early in the morning of 7/2 before he appeared in the game. He wore #67.

July 3, 2015. After a spring training injury that may have cost him a spot on the opening day roster, Tommy Pham made his 2015 debut wearing #60. He was using a Victus bat.

July 4, 2015. These special event jerseys and caps just keep getting worse and worse and worse. Surprisingly, though, there was one thing I actually liked--the thinner, no-border names on the back. A clean element on an otherwise messy design.

July 8, 2015. Dan Johnson made his Cardinals debut tonight in Chicago wearing Jason Motte's old #30 (as Motte watched from the Cubs bullpen). Johnson swung a Hornsby-finished Chandler bat.

July 11, 2015. Nick Greenwood got called up and made his 2015 debut tonight in Pittsburgh. He wore #62.

September 23, 2015. Travis Tartamella singled on the first pitch he faced in the majors. The backup catcher, activiated recently because of Molina's thumb injury, wore #68 and used a natural Old Hickory bat with heavy tar.